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Impact of IL28B-Related Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms on Liver Histopathology in Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 2 and 3

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
7
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029370
Keywords
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Genetics
  • Heredity
  • Population Genetics
  • Medicine
  • Gastroenterology And Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Viral Diseases
  • Hepatitis
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Background and Aims Recently, several genome-wide association studies have revealed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in proximity to IL28B predict spontaneous clearance of HCV infection as well as outcome following peginterferon and ribavirin therapy among HCV genotype 1 infected patients. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of IL28B SNP variability on liver histology in the context of a phase III treatment trial (NORDynamIC) for treatment-naïve patients with chronic HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection, where pretreatment liver biopsies were mandatory. Methods Three hundred and thirty-nine Caucasian patients had samples available for IL28B genotyping (rs12979860) of whom 314 had pretreatment liver biopsies that were evaluated using the Ishak protocol, allowing for detailed grading and staging of liver histopathology. Results IL28B CCrs12979860 genotype in HCV genotype 3 infected patients was associated with higher ALT levels (p<0.0001), higher AST to platelet ratio index (APRI; p = 0.001), and higher baseline viral load (p<0.0001) as compared to patients with the CT or TT genotypes. Additionally the CCrs12979860 genotype entailed more pronounced portal inflammation (p = 0.02) and steatosis (p = 0.03). None of these associations were noted among HCV genotype 2 infected patients. Conclusion This study shows that the CCrs12979860 SNP is associated with more pronounced liver histopathology in patients chronically infected with HCV genotype 3, which may be secondary to higher viral load. The finding that IL28B variability did not impact on liver pathology or viral load among genotype 2 infected patients implies that IL28B may differentially regulate the course of genotype 2 and 3 infection.

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